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CURRENT PROJECTS

Most often, our research and evaluation projects focus on understanding and improving
within and between system responses to gender-based violence. Our work takes us into the criminal legal system, medical system, community-based organizations, and state agencies. Because we are committed to social justice and action, and to the continued development of the field of community psychology as a means to facilitate social change, we also pursue projects to these ends.

 

EVALUATION OF A CROSS-SYSTEM COOPERATIVE RESPONSE TO ADOLESCENT SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS

Adolescents experience higher rates of sexual assault than any other age group. They also have unique needs posts-assault, in part due to their legal ability to consent to sexual activity, their ability to access post-assault services without an adult, and whether their assault falls within the scope of mandatory child abuse reporting laws. This project evaluates a unique, coordinated, multidisciplinary mandated reporting response to adolescent sexual assault victims. The response, involving sexual assault nurse examiners, child protection services, police, and prosecutors, has the potential to increase rates of prosecution of adolescent sexual assault cases. However, it is unknown how this response impacts teens’ post-assault help-seeking experiences. This project relies on a researcher-practitioner partnership to conduct a mixed method multi-study evaluation of the mandatory reporting response on adolescents’ experiences seeing help post-assault and adolescent sexual assault case progression in the criminal legal system.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women

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THE EXPERIENCES AND NEEDS OF LONE COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGISTS

Community psychologists are frequently housed within a wide range of academic disciplines and non-academic settings. Whether operating within or beyond the academy, such individuals are frequently one of a few, or the sole community psychologist in their department, organization, or agency. This may lead to unique benefits and opportunities for the lone community psychologist and the setting in which they are embedded, as they are able to introduce new ideas and approaches. Being the lone community psychologist may also lead to feelings of isolation or other challenges as a function of the unique values and perspectives with which community psychologists approach their work, and the extent to which such values and perspectives are tolerated or

celebrated in one’s setting. Such experiences will also vary based on lone community psychologists’ multiple intersecting identities. In collaboration with Co-PIs Dr. Noé Rubén Chávez of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and Dr. Adam Voight of Cleveland State University, this project investigates the needs and experiences of lone community psychologists while centering other aspects of who they are (e.g., race, gender, religion, etc.) in to order to develop strategies and solutions that support the personal and professional development, as well community work, of all community psychologists.

EVALUATING TEMPORARY TELESANE IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) are specially trained to provide expert, comprehensive, first-response medical forensic care for sexual assault victims. Most often, SANEs provide in-person post-assault medical forensic care in hospital- or community-based settings. However, in-person SANE care is not available in all communities. In recent years, several communities across the country have started to use telehealth technology to provide SANE expertise to patients in communities that would otherwise go unserved (i.e., teleSANE). In the midst of Covid-19, medical providers and institutions are exploring ways to mitigate potential transmission of the virus and ensure essential personal protection equipment (PPE) is readily available where needed. Shifting from providing in-person SANE care to teleSANE is one way to potentially achieve these aims. In collaboration with Co-PI Dr. Hannah Feeney of RTI International, this project evaluates the transition from providing in-person SANE care to teleSANE care in a select set of hospitals to examine the planning for and implementation of this temporary teleSANE model in the midst of Covid-19.

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Want to learn more about our research projects?